Corbett National Park- Corbett National Park with its diversity of wild animals is one of the most visited national parks in India.
Corbett National Park
Nestled like a baby in the lap of the mighty Kumaon hills in Uttaranchal, Corbett National Park is one of the more favoured hot spots of Indian wildlife. Its ideal location at just a stone's throw away from the capital Delhi and the serene hill town of Nainital makes Corbett a most touristed attraction being a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts and naturalists from around the globe. The park is labled after its founder James (Jim) Corbett, a former hunter who took to game photography later. Moved by the stunning beauty of Indian wildlife he resolved never to kill these harmless mute beings again, until they turned man eaters. He also founded the Hailey National Park to provide a protective habitat for the denizens, which was subsequently rechristened Corbett National Park, in honour, two years after his death. The initiator of Project Tiger in India (an attempt to rekindle the dwindling population of the wild cats) boasts of infrequent yet exciting sightings of the Tiger amidst its thick vegetation.
The Man Eaters of Kumaon, a book written by Jim Corbett exposits his numerous encounters with the man eating beasts prevelant in the region during the 1940s. Staying at one of the numerous resorts built within the park boundaries will introduce you to the same thrill and excitement. The park can be visited throughout the year except during the monsoon months (mid June to mid November) when most of the areas in the park remain flooded and inaccessible. The best time for game sighting, however, are the months from March to June.
Wild Attractions of Corbett
Corbett provides a safe heaven for the wild denizens harboring over 100 tree species, 50 mammal species, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species. The uneven terrain is interspersed with towering bamboo and sal trees and hills that remain shrouded with sprawling growth of wild grass fed by the Ramganga river that criss crosses the park providing shelter to the beautiful mahseer fish, long-snouted, fish eating gharial, mugger crocodile and otter.
The thick vegetation provides ideal veil for the big cats from where to launch a sudden attack on their prey, which include four kinds of Deer, wild boar and other animals. Apart from these, other usually sighted animals include elephants, leopards, jungle cats, fishing cats, leopard cats, Himalayan black bears, sloth bears, jackals, martens, dholes, civets, mongooses, otters, hares, porcupines, chital (spotted deer), sambar deer, hog deer, barking deer, ghorals, wild boars, pangolins, macaques, langurs and Nilgai.
The reservoir formed on the Kalagarh dam provides a nesting ground to a myriad variety of avian metropolis including residents and migratory. Prominent among those are the great hornbill, jungle owlet, slaty-headed parakeet, Himalayan swiftlet, lesser fish-eagle, great thick-knee, stork-billed kingfisher and white-tailed rubythroat.
Situated at Kaladhungi, a distance of 32 km from the park, the erstwhile residence of the great Jim Corbett is home to an assemblage of his stuff including letters, photographs, antique furniture and other memorabilia of prime importance. A gentle stroll in the laidback town of Kaladhungi can be an enchanting experience.
The former summer retreat for the British, Nainital is one of the more popular hill stations in the country. At just 105 km, Corbett and Nainital render a double dose of replenishment for travellers to the region. The winding road connecting Corbett to Nainital is an added tinge to the entire episode.
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